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The Flexible U.S. Constitution

The Federalists were largely aristocrats. Their opposition was made up of state-centered men with local interests and loyalties who wanted to protect their individual, local interests from any encroachment by the federal system they saw developing under the leadership of the Federalists. In the end, they both lost and won to a degree as the republican form of government was adopted. In the course of developing the Constitution, attempts were made to protect the interests of each group. Philosophically and practically, what the Federalists developed was a dual federalism in which sovereignty rested with the people, who delegated some of their sovereignty to the national government, some to the states, and retained some for themselves. Many said such a system could not work and that the balance of power could not be maintained. One of the primary arguments at the Convention was over how much power the states should have as compared to the federal government. One group feared that the Constitution would concentrate power in the national government at the expense of the states, and they wanted to modify and update the Articles of Confederation instead (McKenna 33-40).

The ratification of the Constitution was complicated by the differences between the Federalists and their opponents. There was an attempt to accommodate both sides with the creation of a republican form of government. A republic in strictest terms is a form of government in which the people exercise their power through elected representatives. The issue was the form of republic and the degree of centralization it would embody. The Federalist Papers were written by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay. They answered their critics and wrote about the different aspects of the government they envisioned, and they specifically answered those who said that the balance of power could not be maintained. The Federalists wrote about their concern over the way ...

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The Flexible U.S. Constitution. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 22:36, July 22, 2017, from
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